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Las Vegas awards $100K to every player on its WNBA team for absolutely no reason
Image via city of Las Vegas/X (screenshot)

Las Vegas awards $100K to every player on its WNBA team for absolutely no reason

The sponsorship will last for two seasons.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority announced that it will sponsor each player on the Las Vegas Aces WNBA team for $100,000 for two years. The league is investigating whether or not this violates the salary cap rules.

In a video promoted by the city of Las Vegas, North Las Vegas Mayor Pamela Goynes-Brown and Henderson Mayor Michelle Romero were joined by the tourism board to announce the deal with the players in the dressing room.

'There are no better representatives for Las Vegas than these champion athletes.'

"Today we want to do something that is new, something I don't think that anybody's ever done before," said Steve Hill, president and CEO of the LVCVA.

"We want to recognize you individually, we want to put some money in your pockets."

"So, we've got an offer for you, we think it's a great offer for us ... we would like to offer each of you, individually, a sponsorship for this year in the amount of $100,000."

The terms of the deal put forth by the city were simple, "just play" and "rep Vegas."

The sponsorships appear to be coming out of taxpayer pocketbooks and will provide $100,000 to each active player for the 2024 and 2025 seasons.

In response, the WNBA said that it opened an investigation into the player payments to ensure that they followed proper protocol. The LVCVA said it was "happy to answer any questions" from the WNBA and did everything by the book, including contacting players' agents beforehand, Sports Business Journal reported.

Of the 12 players on the roster, the sponsorship is higher than the annual WNBA salary of six of them. At the same time, the team employs two of the most popular and marketable women in the league.

Center A'Ja Wilson recently received two massive endorsement deals from Nike and Gatorade. The endorsements came following an interview during which she complained that black, female athletes were not seen as marketable and were often "swept underneath the rug."

She also claimed that race played a "huge" role in the popularity of Indiana Fever star Caitlin Clark.

At the same time, Aces guard Kelsey Plum has a massive following on social media and has sponsorships with Under Armour, Target, and a cigar company.

"These players have put a national spotlight on Las Vegas. There are no better representatives for Las Vegas than these champion athletes," LVCVA CEO Hill added.

"A first of its kind sponsorship deal with the players directly creates a win for them and a win for our destination. This partnership builds on the current momentum of sports tourism and the popularity of women’s professional sports."

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Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados is a writer focusing on sports, culture, entertainment, gaming, and U.S. politics. The podcaster and former radio-broadcaster also served in the Canadian Armed Forces, which he confirms actually does exist.
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